Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

2 Stars
Here’s another book I read nearly a month ago and never reviewed. This time it wasn’t because I’m lazy even though I am, it’s because I feel bad giving this one a negative review. But a negative review is what I must give when I read a book about a “Columbine” type school shooting and . . . .

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This Is Where It Ends was easily my most anticipated YA contained in the BuzzBooks sneak preview. I requested it immediately and was thrilled to receive an advanced copy. I love books that push the envelope with respect to subject matter and I figured this was definitely not going to be stereotypical YA fare. And while it did deliver a story free of instalove and Mary Sues, it had a lot of problems.

1. Did you know Opportunity, Alabama is a real melting pot? Yeah, no one else does either. I’m all for books having a lot more diversity when it comes to characters, but don’t set it in a town where 80% of the population is white . . .

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2. Speaking of the town, it’s also small. Like under 7,000 people. Do you really think a single gunman type of school shooting would last for 54 minutes? In 2015? Where nearly every child is going to have a cell phone handy and be able to call the local po-po???

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3. Back to the characters. Diverse = good. Multiple narrators with little to no development = cardboard cutouts. Cardboard cutouts are bad – well, mostly . . .

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Speaking of cardboard cutouts, Mitchell would like this for Christmas:

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So bottom line is This Is Where It Ends was a book with a lot of potential (and a most excellent cover) that wound up being nothing special. If you want a YA book about a school shooting that is special, check out Jennifer Brown’s The Hate List. I read that one back before I started reviewing, but Rose wrote a real good one : )

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Thank you, NetGalley!

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